Former SA finance minister Nene to chair investment firm

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Newly-launched investment firm Arise has announced the appointment of former South African finance minister Nhlanhla Nene to its Supervisory Board, where he will assume the position of chairman.

Disrupt Africa reported in February investment firms Norfund, FMO and Rabobank, which hold stakes in a number of financial service providers (FSPs) across Sub-Saharan Africa, partnered to launch Arise, a new fund that will assist FSPs in providing startups and SMEs with access to capital.

Nene, who will take up his position from June 1, became a member of Parliament in 1999, and has served as chairman of the portfolio committee on finance, deputy minister of finance, and, most recently, minister of finance.

He also currently serves as non-executive director on the board of Allan Gray, and resident advisor for the Thebe Investment Corporation.

“It gives me great pleasure to serve on the Arise board and be part of their business journey. With the support of its shareholders, Norfund, Rabobank and FMO, Arise is uniquely placed to advance the financial services sector on the African continent and I look forward to contributing to their success,” Mr Nene.

Arise chief executive officer (CEO) Deepak Malik said he was excited to have someone of Nene’s calibre on the board, and was grateful he had accepted the appointment.

“Mr Nene’s extensive financial experience and background in the public and private investment sector will be invaluable in helping Arise to successfully deliver on its mandate of building strong and stable financial institutions on the continent,” he said.

“We are looking forward to Mr Nene’s strategic contribution to the board and we trust that this role will enable him to make the contribution that we believe he is capable of making, whilst at the same time advancing his own professional aspirations.”

Arise starts operations with a presence in more than 20 countries and US$660 million in assets, an amount that is anticipated to grow to US$1 billion. The new company will take and manage minority stakes in African FSPs, with the key ambition being to build strong and stable FSPs that will serve retail, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the rural sector, and clients who have not previously had access to financial services.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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